Potential Budget Cuts Threaten U.S. Diplomacy And Development Aid, Reuters Reports

Reuters examines how budget debates in Congress “could undo” President Barack Obama’s “‘smart power’ approach, which elevates diplomacy and development alongside military power as guarantors of U.S. security in a rapidly changing world.” Programs run through the State Department and USAID that provide “[f]ood aid to hungry countries, … improved medical services for expectant mothers and the U.S. response to natural disasters such as earthquakes and droughts could be hit in a major scale-back of U.S. assistance,” the news agency writes.

USAID Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg “emphasized that the agency was … seeking to focus its development efforts and establish a more cost-effective model — albeit one that would require short-term budget support,” the news agency notes. “In many cases, we are eliminating smaller programs so that we can focus our attention — even in a reduced budget environment — on strategic priority. That means focusing on areas like food security, global health, global climate change, democracy and governance and economic growth,” Steinberg said (Cornwell/Quinn, 9/7).